Panthers fall short in record-setting match against Millsaps

ROME, Ga.—The Birmingham-Southern volleyball team fell to Millsaps 3-1 in the first round of the Southern Athletic Association Championship, Friday evening at Berry College in Rome, Ga. The second set went to 46-44, setting a single-set NCAA record for points.

BSC, who was the fifth seed in the tournament, falls to 20-9 with the loss and will face eighth-seeded Oglethorpe tomorrow in a consolation match at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

In the first set, the teams were tied at 13-13 before the Majors used a 12-2 run to close out the set and win 25-15, hitting .652 along the way.

The second set was one for the ages, with the teams battling to a 46-44 Millsaps win, setting an NCAA (all divisions) record for points in a set since the 25-point scoring format took effect in 2008. The previous Division I record was on Oct. 23, 2009, when Manhattan defeated Rider 45-43; the Division II record was on Nov. 12, 2011, when Washburn defeated Emporia State 35-33; and the Division III record was on Sept. 14, 2011, when SUNY Geneseo defeated Rochester 42-40.

The Panthers came back and won the third set, 25-23, to bring the match score to 2-1 in favor of Millsaps, but the Majors won the fourth set in decisive fashion. BSC took a 10-7 lead before Millsaps took over, out-scoring the Panthers 18-4 after that to win 25-14 and win the match 3-1.

Junior Katie O'Bar led the Panthers with 14 kills, followed by junior Meredith Lee with 12 and senior Alex Bothe with 10. Lee and Bothe also both had double-doubles; Bothe grabbed 20 digs for her 11th double-double of the season, and Lee had 10 digs for her 10th double-double of 2013. Sophomore libero Lauren Bedford had a team-high 22 digs, and sophomore Emily Dang led with 23 assists. Sophomore Katie McCormack also recorded 10 assists, and O'Bar led at the net with five blocks (2 solo, 3 assisted).